Essex County College names acting replacement for suspended president

By Jessica Mazzola | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on March 31, 2016

Yamba, seen in a 2009 file photo, has been named Acting President.

 

NEWARK — Essex County College – embattled since the suspension of its president and another top official last week – has announced an interim leader.

The college's executive committee Thursday appointed A. Zachary Yamba acting president during the suspension of President Gale Gibson. Yamba is a past president of the school, who served in the role for three decades until his retirement in 2010, the school said.

"Dr. Yamba will provide the necessary leadership to ensure the college continues to operate at the highest levels during this time," the school said in a statement.

Gibson was suspended last Friday amid an apparent probe into the alleged misuse of college resources.

Rashidah Hasan, the college's general counsel and vice president for human resources, was also suspended as part of the investigation, school officials have confirmed.

Gibson will continue to earn her about $295,000 annual salary during her suspension.

Though it is unclear how long the suspensions will last, an attorney for the board said Thursday Yamba will receive no more than $15,000 in compensation for 90 days in the acting position.

The reasons behind the probe remain largely unknown.

A student group from the college announced it plans to hold a press conference at the Hall of Records in Newark Friday to question the school's recent actions, and to call for investigations into the moves.

"Students want to know the reasons behind the college president's suspension... and why the student voice is not being heard in college matters," student Lev Zilbermintz said in a release about the conference.

"We reiterate the call to make public all college finances."

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